In a recent blog post, Evan Elkin and Leah Morgan of the Vera Institute of Justice discuss the Ohio Green Prison Project, a pilot program that in partnership with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC), is using the Roots of Success curriculum to prepare men and women for green-collar jobs upon their release.

Elkin and Morgan discuss how the laboratory and classroom where the Roots of Success work takes place is the prison itself, where people who are incarcerated learn by bringing green practices such as weatherization, and eventually, technologies to the facility where they reside, producing energy-related cost savings, which can then be reinvested to sustain the program.

The ODRC has expanded the Roots of Success curriculum to eight other facilities, and offers participants the opportunity to become certified facilitators. An example of an idea that stemmed from a Roots of Success participant in the Ohio Green Prison Project was to offer the program as part of the orientation process so “being green” is established early on for incoming women as an essential part of the prison culture.